Friday, January 14, 2022

HERE IT COMES: WINTER STORM by Sarah J. McNeal #TheWildingsSeries

 



 Some of you may already be experiencing the Big Winter Storm that’s laying down heaps of snow, ice, sleet, and freezing rain across most of the United States. I feel for the Canadians who are accustomed to this kind of winter weather.

As the temperatures take a deep dive and create a strong cold front that will collide with the moisture laden air from the south we are about to find ourselves in nature’s powerful grip. Those of us who have received the warning that it’s coming, at least have time to prepare. (Thank you to NOAA and the assiduous meteorologists for their calculated and scientific work to give us that warning.)

I guess preparation may be different depending on what part of the continent you reside. Here in North Carolina where snow is not seen as often as other parts of the country, the first thing southerners do is run to the grocery stores to stock upon supplies. Bread and milk are famously the 2 main items on that list. Personally, because of the frequency of power outages, I wonder why canned meals like beef stew and spaghetti that, if need be, you can eat right from the can aren’t the main items, or crackers and peanut butter, but that’s just me.

To assure that I’ll have heat in the event that I DO have a power outage, I want to make sure the gas logs in my fireplace are functioning well. Having the luck that I sometimes do, my gas logs are acting up. The pilot light is good and strong, but when I turn on the gas for the logs the wonderful warm flames only last about 10 minutes and the dang thing turns itself off. Grrr! Yesterday I took the ceramic log off, cleaned off the grill and fired it up. It took only seconds before the dang thing turned itself off again. So today I’m going to clean the whole business up and follow that up with some intense vacuuming. I’ll relight the pilot light and say a prayer. I would call my heating and air conditioning guy to look at it, but he’s probably swamped already and there’s not enough time left before the storm hits.

We are predicted to have snow in the beginning, but then it’s going to turn into freezing rain. It’s freezing rain that is the worst. Not only is it the hardest to drive on, (Thank goodness I don’t have to drive to work in it any more) but it’s the very thing that will take out power lines and bring down trees. The expectation is that we WILL have power outages and they are already assembling emergency teams from states like Florida to help us resolve those problems.

Stay safe and warm, my friends. And don’t forget to look out for the birds, too.

Are you in an area that has been, or will be hit by this winter storm? What do you do to prepare for it?

 

 


 

Sarah J. McNeal

Author of Heartwarming Stories

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Saturday, January 08, 2022

NURSERY RHYMES, BEDTIME STORIES, AND PARENTS by Sarah J. McNeal #TheWildingsSeries

 



 

When my sister and I were very young, we had a phonograph and colorful records, each one with a nursery rhyme set to music. I guess this was the equivalent of the modern day “Sesame Street” in which children are taught by using music and rhymes. Well, my sister and I knew all those nursery rhymes by heart and sang them often. At the time I was 3 and my sister was 4. These rhymes were so imaginative, like “Peter the Pumpkin Eater” who kept his wife in a pumpkin shell, and “Winken, Blinken, and Nod” about 3 kids who sailed off in a wooden shoe to fish for herring in the beautiful sea. Because I heard these nursery rhymes so often, I started making up my own songs. I would just start singing and make them up as I went along.

 

Mom taught us a nighttime prayer and a blessing before meals. In fact, we each had a cup with the blessing written on it. My cup had the prayer written in red, and my sister’s had the prayer written in blue. They were simple and short prayers. Some of you may know them. The nighttime prayer was, “Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep.” The table blessing was, “God is great; God is good, let us thank Him for this food.”

 

When nighttime came our parents would take turns reading stories to us as they tucked us in at night. One of our favorite books was “Finn and His Warrior Band” an Irish story filled with imaginative beings like mermaids, dragons, monsters, and witches. You’d think these stories were scary except we knew Finn and his warrior band would always come to the rescue. (The only thing I was afraid of was foxes and spiders. I had a night light to dispel those creatures.) Pop liked to affect the dialogue of the characters. It was a comforting feeling to have a parent read to us and tuck us in for that transition from day activities to restful, nighttime sleep.

 

Because our parents invested their time in us and how they thought of ways to teach us things like music, faith, and creativity, we developed into what I think were thoughtful, creative human beings who had values and imagination. I felt protected and loved by my parents. Children should always feel that way, but we know, sadly, that not every child gets nurturing and guidance like that. I am forever grateful for the parents I had.

What did your parents do that made you feel good and secure? Did they read to you or spend time with you in a way that made you feel special and loved? What is your favorite memory of you and a parent from your childhood?

For writers: Do you write about parents in your stories? Do you write children’s books or young adult books?



Sarah J. McNeal

Author of Heartwarming Stories

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Amazon Author's Page

Fantasy and Dreams (sarahmcneal.blogspot.com)

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